What does it mean when my husband says that his feelings for me have changed?
I recently heard from a wife who still didn’t know what her husband meant during a recent conversation. Basically, her husband had sat her down and told her that his feelings for her had “changed.” Of course, the wife’s immediate reaction was to ask him to define what exactly he meant by this. He wanted to know things like: did that mean he no longer loved her? Did this mean that he was no longer in love with her? Did this mean that she didn’t want to get married or that she wanted a divorce?
Unfortunately, the husband did not answer these questions directly and seemed somewhat annoyed that the wife was asking him. He practically gave her very vague answers and kept insisting that he just wanted her to be “aware” that her feelings were changing and that this worried him.
The wife wasn’t sure how she was supposed to take this or what she was supposed to do with this bit of information. And frankly, she was a little mad that the husband could just drop this kind of bomb and then shut up and not give her any more information. In the next article, I will discuss my opinion on this and tell you what husbands sometimes mean when they tell you that their feelings for you have “changed.”
Try to see this as a call to action rather than an insult: I understand that wives in this situation could be putting most of their attention on their husbands’ callousness in saying such things. Many wives are angry that he would even bring this up if he doesn’t define it or tell him what he can do to change it. This is absolutely understandable. It is certainly a very frustrating situation and you have the right to have a strong reaction.
However, it sometimes helps if you can take a step back and realize that this can be an advantage. In a way, her husband is giving her a call to action that many women wish they had received. I get a lot of emails from wives whose husband never gave this kind of warning and who went out the door, applied for divorce papers or asked for a separation, and only later did they tell the wife about their changing feelings.
So as much as this may hurt and as frustrating as it is, give yourself the benefit of trying to focus on whatever positives you may find right now. And one of those positives could be that if you want to turn things around, you probably still have the time and ability to do so.
Sometimes when husbands say their feelings for you have changed, they don’t realize that their feelings about their life (or their place in the world) have changed as well: It is very common for people (and not just husbands or men) to project problems that revolve around other areas of their life in their marriage. In other words, maybe their career is not going well, or they suddenly feel old or vulnerable. Perhaps they suddenly don’t like what they see in the mirror or are bothered by the disrespect their children showed them in one tiny moment. No matter why they feel bad, they often do not know what to do with these negative feelings that are surfacing.
So, in an attempt to characterize them, they can simply project them onto the person who is closest to them or who is closest. Unfortunately, that person often turns out to be you. I know this is unfair. I am not defending it. I’m just trying to draw your attention to this so that you resist the urge to internalize your words or blame yourself for them.
Because sometimes what you are saying is not 100% accurate, even if you are not fully aware of it. Sometimes the things that are falling apart in your life have little to do with you, but it may bother you that you don’t notice it or aren’t making it better. So his words (which he knows are going to derail you) are meant to get your attention and are, in a way, a call for help.
What your husband means (and what to do) when he says his feelings for you have changed: Now that we’ve cleared the background, let’s talk about the options you might have in this situation. Some wives will take the words literally, think the marriage is over, fear that their husbands no longer love them, or turn their anger and fear inward. These are common responses, but I hope you avoid them.
Another option is that you can settle down, decide to take an honest look at yourself, your husband, and your marriage and see if there are any improvements you can make. It is very easy to become complacent and not see what is really going on. We all get into the habit of following movements while making sure everything is okay when it really isn’t. I was also guilty of this and it almost cost me my marriage.
By looking at my own husband’s perspective on this situation and by talking to the men who seek me out about it, I can tell you that when men tell you that their feelings have changed, they often go to great lengths to get their attention. They often ask for more time, attention, and appreciation.
They want you to notice their struggles, to identify with them, and to lighten their load. The point is, they often don’t realize what they want. They often do not know that they are really projecting their feelings. All you know is that things feel different between you and you don’t know how else to draw your attention to this. And, believe it or not, this is often where your opportunity to improve lies.